Spring Beauty

Sheep's skull with Spring Beauty flowers
Spring Beauty, watercolor, 11 x 14"

After yesterday’s vulture post, this seems appropriate, as it’s also about death, resurrection and the cycle of life.

I did this painting about this time of year five years ago or so.  I guess you could call it a plein-aire still life.  Although I’m afraid landscape escapes me, I do love to paint outside, and back then I was doing a lot of it.  One day I was tramping around in the woods, despairing of ever finding a composition I could handle, when I came across this little jewel lying on the forest floor.

I’m really not sure what animal donated its skull for the occasion.  It didn’t seem quite like a deer skull – perhaps a sheep?  Anyway, I loved the way Life was just reaffirming its hold on the old bones in the form of delicate Spring Beauty blossoms lovingly embracing them.

I like to think of my find as Nature’s brilliant reply to the old concept of Vanitas.  Instead of a meditation on the transience of life and futility of pleasure, it’s a vibrant affirmation of  resiliency and the triumph of life even in the aftermath of inevitable death and decay.

Did you enjoy this post? Anne